Saturday, July 14, 2007

Nothing Personal -- Jason Starr

Until this book, the only thing I’d read by Jason Starr was BUST, his Hard Case Crime novel written in collaboration with Ken Bruen, which I liked quite a bit. NOTHING PERSONAL is one of Starr’s earlier novels, and it’s good enough to convince me that I need to read more of his work.

This book is about two couples in New York, the white-collar David and Leslie Sussman and the blue-collar Joey and Maureen DePino, and the way all their lives intersect in unexpected and tragic fashion. Leslie and Maureen are best friends from childhood. David is being stalked by a woman from his office with whom he’s been having an affair. Joey is a compulsive gambler up to his eyeballs in debt who has a loan shark’s goons after him. You know when things start out this bad, they’re only going to get worse . . . but the trick is in how they get worse.

I don’t mind admitting I thought I had this book figured out. I knew what was going to happen. Only I didn’t. Starr kept coming up with different but perfectly logical ways to take his story, so that every time I started to nod knowingly to myself, he yanked the rug out from under me again. That’s good stuff and kept me flipping the pages even as the events unfolding grew darker and darker. I love it when a book takes me by surprise. NOTHING PERSONAL is a fine novel, and now I have to go find more of Jason Starr’s books.

1 comment:

Juri said...

I think NOTHING PERSONAL is an American masterpiece. Hell, it's a masterpiece in world literature.